Mike LaBrash | Springfield Real Estate, Lorton Real Estate, Alexandria Real Estate


Believe it or not, getting pre-approved for a mortgage can be quick and simple, even for a first-time homebuyer. In fact, here are three tips to help a first-time homebuyer streamline the process of receiving pre-approval for a mortgage:

1. Meet with Several Lenders

Many mortgage lenders are available in cities and towns nationwide. Meanwhile, these mortgage experts are happy to teach first-time homebuyers about assorted mortgage options and help them get pre-approved for a mortgage.

Set up face-to-face meetings with various lenders in your area. That way, a first-time homebuyer can gain unparalleled insights into a wide range of mortgage options.

In addition, don't hesitate to ask questions during meetings with banks and credit unions. Mortgage lenders possess comprehensive mortgage expertise, and as such, a first-time homebuyer can rely on these mortgage professionals to receive the support that he or she needs to make an informed decision.

2. Understand Your Credit Score

Do you know your credit score? Ultimately, a first-time homebuyer's credit score may dictate his or her ability to obtain the ideal mortgage.

An individual can request a free copy of his or her credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) once a year. This report may prove to be exceedingly valuable, as it can help a homebuyer identify opportunities to improve his or her credit score before a mortgage application is submitted.

Also, if you identify errors in your credit report, it is paramount to contact the agency that provided the report immediately. This will allow you to correct any potential errors quickly and ensure that they won't affect your ability to get the best possible mortgage.

3. Consider Your Homebuying Budget

A first-time homebuyer may have lofty expectations prior to entering the real estate market. However, this individual should consider his or her finances before submitting a mortgage application.

With a budget in hand, a homebuyer can establish realistic expectations as he or she tries to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Plus, this homebuyer may be better equipped than others to obtain pre-approval for a mortgage and accelerate his or her search for the perfect residence.

Lastly, it may be worthwhile for a first-time homebuyer to meet with a real estate agent to learn more about assorted mortgage options.

A real estate agent understands the challenges associated with purchasing a house for the first time. As a result, this housing market professional can teach a homebuyer about all aspects of the property buying journey and help this buyer plan accordingly.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent can set up home showings, keep a homebuyer up to date about new residences as they become available and negotiate with a home seller on a buyer's behalf. This housing market professional will even provide honest, unbiased homebuying recommendations to make it easy for a property buyer to acquire a top-notch residence at a budget-friendly price.

Move one step closer to purchasing your dream house – use the aforementioned tips, and a first-time homebuyer can speed up the process of getting pre-approved for a mortgage.



Are you thinking about buying your first home but completely overwhelmed with where to even begin?

Buying your first home is a big, and exciting, decision. It’s also one that comes with a big learning curve you need to get down quickly.

There are many steps to the process and even though your agent is always here to help you and give advice it’s critical you do your own research. You want to be able to take action quickly when you find your dream home. To do this you will need to be able to keep up with the process by having everything done neatly, orderly and on time.

So where to start?

Start here:

Start by sitting down with your budget. What do your current finances look like? What sort of wiggle room for spending do you have? What can you afford for a monthly mortgage payment?

And perhaps more importantly, do you have enough saved to cover a down payment and closing costs? Depending on which programs you qualify for you don’t necessarily have to put the traditional 20% down. With that said, you should know how much you would need to put down and if you have money in the bank to cover those costs.

Smooth out any credit snags. Your credit score doesn’t need to be out of this world, but it should reflect that you are actively improving and financially responsible.

Find a mortgage professional you trust to help you make the right moves throughout the process. Again, you want to be able to take action quickly once you find a home you love. And you don’t want to miss out because your mortgage professional hasn’t prioritized you.

You will also want to have a preapproval prepared, with the help of your mortgage professional, when you are ready to start looking at houses. Having a pre-approval in hand shows your agent that you are serious about this process.

Calculate the costs. Yes, more math! You will want to take into consideration real estate taxes, HOA fees, home repairs and maintenance as you refine your budget to see which homes make the most sense for your lifestyle.

When looking at homes focus on the “bones” of the house. Look past paint, hideous wallpaper and yes even the granite countertops. Are there enough bedrooms? Bathrooms? A laundry room? Is there enough garage space and driveway? Do you like the floor plan? The neighborhood?

Know what’s important to you. In an ideal world, you will find a home that ticks off every item on your wishlist. And not to say that it’s entirely impossible, but know which items on your list are negotiable. Which are you willing to budge on and which are make or break?



9011 HARROVER PL, LORTON, VA 22079  

Rental
$3,200
Price
4
Bedrooms
4
Baths
This wonderful 4 bedroom, 3 1/2 bath home features an open floor plan, 2 car garage, deck. A finished basement with full bath. Just across the street from the Lorton Station Town Center and the VRE Commuter lot. Walk to the community pool, shops and restaurants. Easy access to I-95, NGA, Ft. Belvoir, DC & Alexandria. A Great walkable community where you can live, dine, and play. Also For Rent!



The number of American employees who work from home, at least part of the time, is increasing year after year. Some 38% of Americans say they’re currently able to work from home at least one day a week, and that number is set to continue increasing.

Working from home can pose a few problems, however. Notably, trying to find a place within your home where you can sit down in peace and get to work.

In today’s article, we’re going to talk about home office design. So, whether you’re working from home full-time, part-time, or just want a quiet place to go over the bills in the evening, so can ensure you have the best possible environment to be productive in.

The balance between focused and comfortable

Ideally, a home office is a place that is well-lit, distraction-free, and minimal in decor. However, each of us has our own process when it comes to being productive.

So, when planning your office, it’s important to choose a style that will help you work but will also make you want to spend time in the room.

Lighting conditions

Another trait of a home office that is largely dependent on your work-preferences is the lighting quality. This covers anything from the lights you use to the windows, curtains, and even the color of your walls.

If you’re the type of person who could easily fall asleep in a dimly-lit room, it’s probably a good idea to choose a bright paint color and ample lighting. This is especially true for people who find themselves spending long hours in the evening.

Decorating your office

Now that you’ve determined what type of home office you need, let’s think about how you’re going to furnish it.

The key here is to minimize distractions. A television is probably a bad idea. But, quiet music playing on your laptop or headphones could help you focus.

In terms of decorations, a good design principle to go by is that you should decorate with a few large items rather than several small items. This will help you prevent the room from feeling cluttered.

Set yourself up for organizational success

When you envision an office, you probably picture file organizers, paper clip holders, notepads, and countless other office-related tool and accessories.

However, if you tend to do most of your work on your computer, odds are those things will just get in your way.

Instead of filling up your cart at Staples, think about the type of work you’ll be doing in your home office and purchase only what you need. This will help you stay organized and help you from losing documents and losing time trying to find those documents.

With these tips in mind, you’re ready to start creating your home office haven of productivity. Be sure to check out my other posts for more tips and advice.




8400 CACAPON CT, LORTON, VA 22079  

Residential
$335,000
Price
3
Bedrooms
3
Baths
End-Unit Townhouse on desirable premium lot that backs to trees. This wonderfully updated and well-maintained home feature a kitchen with stainless appliances, granite counters and newer cabinets, remodeled baths and updated flooring. Large fenced back yard with 2 sheds. 2 parking spaces and street parking. Close to Ft. Belvoir, NGA, Shopping and Transportation. Talk about Location!